Wellness Centre deficit keeps downward track

Community

There is guarded optimism that the Pictou County Wellness Centre will continue to reduce its annual deficit.

Mayor Shannon MacInnis, who was re-elected to chair the Wellness Centre Authority board, said eliminating the deficit is unlikely but the board will continue to find ways to close the gap between revenues and expenses.

“We see the deficit dropping, moving in the right direction,” he said after the board’s annual general meeting on Monday.

“Very few facilities like this break even,” he said. “It’s a service to the community and we try to provide the best service at the best price. There’s no golden number to get to, with rising costs for things like power and maintenance. The board is trying to drive revenue and we’ll keep trying to bring costs down.”

He said the lack of late evening ice rentals is not likely to change while other local rinks, whose community hockey leagues are prime sources of revenue, stay open.

“When other rinks close and outlast their life expectancy, we’ll take it as it comes,” he said.

The AGM’s two main items of business included hearing and approving audited financial statements for 2017-18 and electing officers.

The auditor’s report by MGM Associates Charters Professional Accounts of Sydney, N.S. as of January 15, 2018 was termed a clean report with no exceptions.

The statement of financial activities from March 31, 2017 to Jan. 15 showed revenues from operations down almost $53,000 at $937,998 and operating expenses down about $186,000.

That left a deficit of $818,699, compared to $985,289 the previous fiscal year.

The combined total by the five participating municipal units to cover the deficit was $893,699. The breakdown includes $315,942 from New Glasgow; $264,551 from Stellarton; $227,540 from the rural municipality; $49,646 from Trenton and $36,020 from Pictou.

The units contributed $1,060,289 to cover the previous year’s deficit.

Besides MacInnis’s return to chair the board, Mayor Nancy Dicks of New Glasgow was named vice-chairperson and New Glasgow CAO Lisa MacDonald is the recording secretary.

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